I dare to write this only because, here in my aging years, I feel I am still growing. The journey is not just about “getting there.” It’s also about all the changes – adventures, misadventures, insights and oversights, successes and failures, aches and mistakes, and everything in between – along the way. When owning one’s story, a self realizes it took every moment lived to get to the present. And that as they move toward the future, they leave nothing behind. The truth of them, the whole truth, moves with them.
I find a certain peace in accepting that awareness, as well as an inescapable acknowledgment of my humanness. The image I have is of a weathered tree with all of its roots and its rings of growing. The core is solid and intact while each ring, as the twig was bent, added its own history which the next grew out of. The tree and all its offshoots offer vivid evidence and image of a life force, which I prefer to label “life reach” since that is how I claim my growing.
To date, I have not been truncated, and the bent twig scribbles all its growing across a sky I am still reaching for. I remain curious about what the next season will bring, how my roots will shape my growing, as well as events and how others will impact me.
I have learned along the way that living finds its meanings in this moment that holds the fullness of my journey. Being here is where I am meant to be. And writing such as this helps put words to my being…and becoming.
At age 60 I wrote a piece called, “The Clock Never Goes Tock-Tick.” It was then I became aware of time and aging. These days, while the clock may be ticking more loudly, I am not feeling much older than I did back then. Well…maybe a bit. The past 10 years, especially, are among the richest I’ve lived. And I am grateful. There have been losses, painful ones, but also breath-catching growth out of the scribblings behind my reachings. And I am curious, in this moment, about what comes next.
It ca not go without saying that life was never meant to be lonely, that no one grows alone. The touch and caring of others’ love, their being entwined with my own, sometimes in passing, or over years or a lifetime, can be like God’s fingers working the clay of me, or kneading the yeast of meaning into my spirit. It would be an understatement to say I am fortunate for the love I have been given.
Growth, like that love, takes one to places never imagined and sometimes beyond knowing and, I believe, ultimately home.